Prosciutto and Cheese Torta

Prosciutto and Cheese Torta is at the bottom left of this picture. You can make the torta in a round pan bowl as above or in a small loaf pan or whatever shape you prefer.

(originally e-mailed September 2008. Recipe has been updated and corrections made)

Recipe Testers,

Sending out recipes like this makes me realize how unbelievably quickly time goes by. I originally typed this recipe to contribute to an Officers’ Wives’ Club cookbook, when we were stationed at Ft. Bragg in 1993. It seems like 1993 was only about 5 years ago!

My grandmother made this for every holiday gathering and then I copied it from her. I gave the recipe to many of my friends. One of my dear friends, Rebecca, made this "her signature recipe"and actually hid the recipe between the mattresses when her sister-in-laws came for family gatherings. It was her "secret recipe" the recipe that all her family and friends always asked for (her husband, Patrick, comes from a family of cooks and chefs.) When her husband asked her why she was hiding it, she said “It’s Maili’s secret recipe.” Patrick responded, “Maili doesn’t have any secret recipes. She gives them to everyone.” (Patrick and Rebecca are both on this list. Patrick was able to come home from Iraq for the birth of their daughter before he had to go back again. Patrick is a fantastic cook and is the one that gave me the recipe for Mustard Mint Sauce that I use on both beef and lamb. I’ll have to share that with all of you as well, although I’m not sure I have a recipe with measurements typed up for that.) I’m digressing again.

Back to the Prosciutto and Cheese Torta: For those of you who don't care for goat cheese, you can use all cream cheese. All cream cheese was in the original recipe, but I made the goat cheese change because I love the tanginess of goat cheese.


My grandmother, Jean Darling, made for almost every holiday for almost 20 years. It is one of my most copied recipes. One friend who I gave the recipe too, made it her own secret signature recipe for family celebrations. As usual everyone asked for a copy of the recipe, but she hid under the bed to hide it from her sister-in-laws. The recipe is ideal for entertaining because it can be made in advance. For those of you who don’t care for goat cheese, you can substitute cream cheese.

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces goat cheese
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
1 ½ tablespoons fresh basil (6 – 7 leaves)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon oil or non-stick cooking spray
5 slices provolone cheese, cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
½ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
6 thin slices of prosciutto or other very salty Italian or European ham
10 leaves arugula (optional)

1. Cream together cream cheese, goat cheese, Parmesan cheese, and seasonings. Make sure garlic is evenly dispersed.

2. Line 3-cup bowl or loaf pan with plastic wrap which has been brushed with oil or non-stick cooking spray. (Use multiple pieces if you need to as the plastic should be draped over the sides of the bowl.)

3. Layer the main ingredients in the bowl beginning with the provolone cheese. Place one piece provolone in the bottom of the bowl (on top of the plastic wrap) and cut it to size. Then spread a small amount of the cheese mixture on top of the provolone cheese. Next place a piece of the prosciutto on top of the cheese mixture. Press it so that it is very close to the cheese mixture. Then add a more generous amount of the cheese mixture spread across the prosciutto and finish with a sprinkling of pine nuts and then a layer of arugula leaves. Repeat the layers in this order, ending with a layer of provolone cheese.

4. Cover with the remaining plastic wrap that’s draped over the bowl and then refrigerate at least 12 hours. Before serving, bring the remaining cream cheese mixture to room temperature. Flip the bowl upside down, remove the bowl and then remove the plastic wrap from the torta. Slice thinly and serve with light crackers.

Proscutitto and Cheese Torta, Hors d’oeuvres, Draft 3 typed by Maili Halme Brocke April 15, 2009, Typed by Stasia Huiner, Sept 22, 2008; Edited Oct 24, 2008 Maili Productions Cookbook


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